Daubechies WISEST Lectures

Professor Ingrid Daubechies James. B. Duke Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University will be presenting the WISEST Lectures on Thursday February 25 and Friday February 26.

WISEST Leadership Lecture:

Thursday February 25, 3:00-4:30, Cardinal Room, Student Center East 329

Title: Taking Stock

Abstract: In her presentation, Prof. Daubechies will mix her personal perspective ("taking stock" of her career of over 35 years and counting), her international experience (as past President of the International Mathematical Union) and her hopes for the near future, in the context of women in STEM.

Scientific Lecture

Friday February 27, 3:00-3:50, Cardinal Room, Student Center East 329

Title: Mathematicians Helping Art Historians and Art Conservators

Abstract: Mathematics can help Art Historians and Art Conservators in studying and understanding art works, their manufacture process and their state of conservation. The presentation will review several instances of such collaborations in the last decade or so, and then focus on one particular example: virtual cradle removal. Between the 12th to the 17th century, European artists typically painted on wooden boards. To remediate or prevent structural or insect damage, conservators in the 19th and first half of the 20th century first thinned the panels to a few mm, and then strengthened the much thinner wood structures by (permanently) attaching to their backs hardwood lattices called cradles. These cradles are highly visible in X-ray images of the paintings. X-rays of paintings are a useful tool for art conservators and art historians to study the condition of a painting, as well as the techniques used by the artist and subsequent restorers. The cradling artifacts obstruct a clear "reading'' of the X-rays by these experts. These artifacts can be removed, using a variety of mathematical tools, including Bayesian algorithms.


As one of the foremost applied mathematicians of our time, Prof. Daubechies became the first woman Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University in 1993. In 2010, she was elected as the President of the International Mathematical Union - the first woman to hold this position. In 2011, she joined Duke University. Throughout her career, she has mentored over 30 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.

In addition to the improvement of secondary mathematic education worldwide, Prof. Daubechies takes a particular interest in the stimulation of mathematics, science, and technology in developing countries. In 2009, she spent part of her sabbatical in Madagascar. She continues working towards fostering a richer learning environment with Malagasy mathematicians and scientists.


A UIC faculty program that started in 2003 in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, in collaboration with the Center of Research in Women and Gender, WISEST's main goal is to increase the number, participation and leadership of minority and majority women in academic science and engineering, through institutional transformations.

Between 2006-2012, WISEST was supported by an NSF ADVANCE Grant (totalling USD 3.3 million) and was guided by the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Deans of the College of Engineering (COE) and Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS), alongside an ample team of UIC faculty, staff and students. Since 2012, WISEST has continued its many activities, receiving generous support and guidance from the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, the Provost, the COE Dean and the LAS Dean.

WISEST's key programs include: Faculty Start-up Support Program for new hires; Faculty Research Support Program for tenure track faculty; SUCCEED Trainings for Faculty Search and Faculty Promotion & Tenure committees; UIC Town Hall Meetings; College of Engineering First Lecture Series for incoming students; Faculty Leadership Seminar Series; Distinguished Visiting Scholar Series; PRAAD Postdoctoral Institute; Mentoring and Training Seminars for Assistant and Associate Professors; Trainings and Action Plans for STEM Department Heads.

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